Rangers: 3 players who stood out in the 2-1 win against the Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie (77) brings the puck up ice against New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) during the third period at Madison Square Garden
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, the losing streak has been broken. Coming into this game, the New York Rangers were on a four-game losing streak, and the team was clearly in a slump. Well, that slump/losing streak has ended as the Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals in this game 2-1.

3. Erik Gustafsson gifts the Capitals a goal

It has not been a great January for Erik Gustafsson, who has really struggled, especially on defense. Tonight showcased that as he gifted the Washington Capitals their only goal of the game.

Gustafsson was trying to clear the puck, but it was a failed attempt as he gifted that puck to Washington, which ultimately led to T.J. Oshie scoring the goal for Washington. It was not a great game for Gustafsson, as while he did well offensively, he has to get better on defense because he has become a liability.

2. Kaapo Kakko returned, but he looked rusty

It was great to see Kaapo Kakko back on the ice after that nasty injury he suffered a few months ago. With his return tonight, his performance was something to keep an eye on.

He did okay in the game. He was not the greatest player, but more on the mediocre side. It was clear that he was super rusty in his return but showcased some solid defensive attributes that the team was missing, which was a plus. Hopefully, he can shake off the rust quickly and make a bigger impact in future games.

1. Alexis Lafreniere shines for the Rangers

Remember when everyone was freaking out about the extension that the Rangers signed Alexis Lafreniere to and called it a mistake? Yeah, those talks have really died down. Lafreniere yet again had another strong performance.

Lafreniere contributed so much on offense when he made a key assist in Artemi Panarin’s goal, and he scored the second goal of the game for the Blueshirts. Lafreniere has had a career renaissance and has blossomed into the player many imagined when he was originally drafted first overall. Hopefully, he keeps performing well the rest of the season.

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